By APA reporter
RwandAir on Monday suspended flights to Zimbabwe, Zambia and South Africa, citing safety concerns in the aftermath of “Covid variants prevalent throughout Southern Africa”.
The airline said in a notice that it was suspending until further notice flights to Johannesburg, Cape Town, Lusaka and Harare starting on Monday.
“In view of the global concerns on Covid variants prevalent throughout Southern Africa, RwandAir announces the suspension of its flights to Johannesburg, Cape Town, Lusaka and Harare, effective 8 February 2021,” the airline said.
Scheduled flights would resume “as soon as there is more clarity on the situation”, it said.
RwandAir had resumed Kigali-Lusaka-Harare-Cape Town flights in December after eight months of suspension following the Covid-19 lockdown in April 2020.
Rwanda joins several other countries that have suspended air travel to and from South Africa and Zimbabwe following the discovery of a new variant of Covid-19 in South Africa in December, which has been driving a second wave of infections in the country and neighbouring states.
The United Kingdom and United States have imposed travel bans on South Africa and other southern African countries.
“We are adding South Africa to the restricted list because of the concerning variant present that has already spread beyond South Africa,” said Dr. Anne Schuchat, the CDC's principal deputy director, told Reuters last month.
Airlines like Emirates suspended flights to and from South Africa from January 16, 2021, following government directives that restrict the entry of travellers originating from South Africa into the UAE.
The airline revealed that it will resume South African operations from February 28, pending any travel restrictions.